I'll say right away, I know this hot topic is politically divisive, but I'm hoping for a neutral explanation by people with experience.
Social media companies (in addition to banks, payment processors, website hosting services, and more) are increasingly picking and choosing which clients they will serve. This picking and choosing is, I don't think can be denied at this point, based at least somewhat on the political opinions of these clients.
In response to this, a common defense is "They're private companies, so they can pick and choose who they want to serve." But this argument holds no water for most other businesses; for example if I run a coffee shop, I can't pick and choose who to serve based on what political paraphernalia they're wearing (or at least, I'm pretty sure I can't). In general, the government forces American businesses to run any number of ways based on the laws they pass. We don't live in a libertarian / anarcho-capitalist environment, so this "They're private companies" argument has always struck me as disingenuous.
I know it's a general question, but to what extent can companies pick and choose (that is, discriminate) what clients to serve? What legal rights or contracts allow these companies to discriminate in ways that other companies can't? If discrimination based on political opinions is NOT legal, how have these companies legally obfuscated their intentions?