All the communication tools provided on this server or recommended by me are private with minor exceptions described. If you do not want corporations, governments, and AI monitoring and manipulating you, you should understand the below basic concepts to choose the right methods.
Private communications means that only you and the person you are communicating with can see the messages. This is accomplished through encryption. Encryption locks the message data in patterns that can only be unlocked with keys to prevent anybody reading it on its journey.
All communications on this server are encrypted from and to the server. If E2EE (End to End Encryption) is used, message data stored on the server can not be seen by the server administrator.
If you are using a server of someone you do not know or trust and especially a big centralized one, communications should be E2EE. Even if it is E2EE, metadata is created..
Metadata is data about data. All digital messages have metadata such as sender, receiver, time, message size, IP address, and device. Some metadata is always created for any communication service, and that can be monitored. Whatsapp and its parent company Meta/Facebook learn much about people by knowing who talks to whom how often and for how long even though it is E2EE.
This data is valuable when collected for massive amounts of people or requested by a government. A service that stores as little metadata as possible or stores it spread out on small servers leaves less to be monitored.
I do not monitor any metadata unless I need to fix or clean up something. You know me and can ask yourself WTF would I do with a few people's activity logs and why would I care?
Decentralization and Federation
All communication methods provided here are decentralized.
Centralized services, AKA platforms, create a single point of control that can and usually are abused. For example, WhatsApp is controlled, monitored, censored, and data harvested by a single massive ad tech company and under the control of government. When a service is decentralized into many perhaps thousands of nodes, no single corporation or government can violate our interests with surveillance and censorship. This makes decentralized services more resistant to both surveillance and censorship.
Federation is what allows the decentralized nodes to communicate with each other using common protocols. Email is federated to allow a message from Protonmail to reach a mailbox on Tutanota server. Federation and decentralization are essential to freedom.