@agateblue it's a Reject of the Follow activity (the Follow activity is inlined, and retains its original id)
currently (i mean, any recent release—master is fixed), Mastodon fucks up and doesn't interpret the incoming Reject Follow correctly; sending a Block activity (and then an Undo Block) is a workaround for the time being
hopefully something like https://github.com/tootsuite/mastodon/pull/14510 will end up being merged to fix inconsistencies after the fact
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