I'm looking at my flag count, and I see a couple of '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.

  • 6
    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
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 2:55
  • 10
    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
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 4:21

1 Answer 1


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 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. NAA and VLQ flags can be declined by moderators when the flag escalates to the moderator flag queue (but if handled in the review queue, these flags are only disputed).

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 result is 'Looks OK' from the Low Quality Posts review queue, the flag is disputed. Spam and offensive flags on post that are rolled back are also disputed. Moderators can also manually dispute spam/offensive flags, even after handling, to remove the penalty caused by spam/offensive flags.

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

  • 5
    this recent example suggests that failing close review (by regular 3K users) may result in declined flag
    – gnat
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 21:07
  • What do you mean "someone recommended deletion"? Can you explicitly tell me: what was the result of my flag?... Did someone review it? What happened to it?
    – user193661
    Commented Nov 1, 2015 at 20:24
  • 1
    @Clearquestionwithexamples when you have at least one helpful flag, there will be a link to your flag history on your profile page. "Recommend deletion" is one of the actions available on the Low Quality Posts review queue, available on every SE site at /review.
    – bfavaretto
    Commented Nov 1, 2015 at 22:29
  • 1
    I think an edit to a post flagged as VLQ disputes the flag (since VLQ is an assertion that it can't be fixed). I don't know if edits affect other flags, and I can't currently verify what I've said so I'm just leaving this comment for now. If anybody knows, please edit it in. Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 14:46

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