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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

1 Answer 1

up vote 35 down vote accepted

Declined flag: if the flag was reviewed by a moderator who did not agree with you (for other, spam, offensive and comments flags) they decline them. Flagging to close a question or as duplicated will push the flag to the close review queue, and if the review is completed without any user casting a close vote the flag is declined. When flagging NAA and VLQ on answers, if none of the reviewers agree with you is shown as declined.

Having too many declined flags leads to a warning, or even a temporary flag ban.

Disputed flag: When you flag an answer as NAA or VLQ and the post doesn't result in deletion but someone recommended deletion, the flag is disputed. Spam and offensive flags on post that are rolled back are also disputed.

Disputed flags are considered neutral; they do not count toward flag ban.

Although there is no visible flag weight anymore, something alike is kept in the backend to help ordering the flags by importance. The flag weight is decreased by declined flags, but not by disputed ones.

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this recent example suggests that failing close review (by regular 3K users) may result in declined flag –  gnat Mar 16 at 21:07

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