I'm looking at my flag count, and I see a couple 'declined' flags and a few 'disputed' flags, and I'm wondering: what is the difference between the two? I've had both disputed and declined flags where the action I expected from the flag was taken, so I can't quite nail down what they mean (other than they don't count toward my helpful flag count). Is it a case where a moderator took action versus regular users, or is there a very real difference between them (where declined incurs a penalty toward "hellbanning" and disputed doesn't).

I am not asking about what a disputed flag is. I'm trying to get clarification of what is the difference between a declined and a disputed flag, including the effect of each on future flagging ability/hellbanning.

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How is this a duplicate? Nothing in the linked question says "declined", only disputed. I actually read that, and several other questions, to find out the difference between disputed and declined. –  saluce Jul 27 '12 at 2:55
    
So what are you confused about? Any time your flag gets an invalid flag on it, it is always dismissed as disputed, no matter what the moderator ends up doing with the flag. Declined simply means they reviewed your flag and deemed it incorrect (but no one cast an invalid flag on it). –  animuson Jul 27 '12 at 3:15
    
@animuson What's the difference between an invalid and incorrect flag? –  saluce Jul 27 '12 at 3:18
    
"invalid flag" is another type of flag that users with 10,000 reputation can cast on a post which has a flag on it. It basically tells moderators "this flag is incorrect, so you shouldn't pay attention to it." I don't remember if flags get auto-dismissed after so many invalid flags, but if they don't, it's still completely up to the moderator to determine whether or not to take action. –  animuson Jul 27 '12 at 3:20
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The previous linked question explains disputed, but it mentions nothing of declined. I believe this should be reopened. The current flagging system is confusing to people who aren't familiar with how it works, and an actual explanation will help prevent future duplicates on this specific topic. –  jmort253 Jul 27 '12 at 4:21
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2 Answers

up vote 25 down vote accepted

Declined flag: the flag has been reviewed by a moderator, who did not agree with you. As far as I know, it's used to compute your flag weight, which (roughly) influences how "important" your flags should be considered by moderators.

Disputed flag: one or more 10k users did not agree with your flag, and flagged it as invalid. Regardless of the moderator's final decision, those flags won't be computed as "helpful" for you or the user who flagged it as invalid.

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As far as I know, disputed is when a reviewing user has disputed it. Declined is when a moderator has dismissed it.

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