No, they can’t. The answer should be obvious, especially in a court of law.
Imo bus lines are comparable.
Those are run by private companies a lot of the time too, yet they’re no longer allowed to seat people at the back of the bus for being black. Did for a while, just like these social media companies are doing selectively censoring and suppressing certain people for “bad” opinions, values they don’t like…
Sure bus lines violated equal rights in more blatant, obvious ways (under laws passed by Democrats), but just because what the social media companies are doing is subtle doesn’t mean it’s not a violation of 1st amendment rights every time they censor or suppress someone.
With buses, schools, etc. those bullshit segregation laws and the subsequent legalized racism in the private market flourished before eroding under the force of America’s conscience, before people fully realized how sinister and wrong the shit was that they’d come to accept as normal, commonplace.
Having become aware culturally, across society, of the inherent injustices therein the American public warred with and destroyed the ideological infrastructure and corruption they’d come to recognize was supporting truly systemic racism.
They did so by discerning (after decades of blindness) where and how it conflicted with our values as a nation. I.e. the Constitution finally caught up with the bullshit laws that allowed for it.
Same can happen with these social media companies, but it demands a certain level of public awareness that’s what’s happening and why it’s wrong.
People need to grasp who it’s affecting and why. Just cuz it’s not racism doesn’t mean it’s not a violation of constitutional rights to do what they’re doing.
There’s a reason so many people in the corporate news world and social media industry try to confuse this issue, if we all realized how simple and straightforward all of it is, and always was, the jig is up.
As awareness of what they’re doing grows they’ll have to decide: either stop what they’re doing or burn. Reality is, the fire has already been smoldering for the better part of a decade. Bound to reach a flash point… tick tock. ⏰