Twitter just updated their blocking policy and it’s a nightmare. According to a statement put out on Thursday evening this is the new blocking policy:
If your account is public, blocking a user does not prevent that user from following you, interacting with your Tweets, or receiving your updates in their timeline. If your Tweets are protected, blocking the user will cause them to unfollow you.
Previously, if you were being harassed or simply trolled by spam accounts, you could click the “Block” button which would forbid that user from ever following you and also remove them from your mentions and timeline. Now, even if you block someone who is harassing you, that person becomes invisible to you but they are free to follow you and RT you into their timeline.
This is a huge and very serious problem for people, like me, who have received repeated rape and death threats on Twitter on a fairly consistent basis. I utilize the Block button almost every day and while that is not a perfect solution - because users can simply log out to view your timeline even if you have blocked them - it at least forbid harassers from following you and at worst retweeting you into their feed which can simply allow their followers to also harass you.
Twitter is no longer a safe space. As a public person who uses the medium for my work, I am very concerned because stalkers and abusers will now be able to keep tabs on their victims, and while there was no way to prevent it 100% before, Twitter should not be in the business of making it easier to stalk someone.