I was thinking about "Disputed" flag status in the past few weeks, I'd like to share these thoughts and maybe someone could clarify something about that.
It occurs to me that the "helpful" flag status means that you have helped the moderators spot a problem that needs fixing (e.g. comments that were posted as answers, spam, accounts that need merging, etc.).
On the other hand, "declined" status implies that while your action was trying to help (often, I'm excluding the case of "revenge" on someone) your judgement was not correct - in the eyes of the moderator.
Disputed flags make a strange beast. To my best understanding a flag is disputed when you flag it and a 10k+ user claimed it to be invalid for some reason. After accumulating several invalidations the flag gets disputed and clears off; or it is possible that a moderator will clear the flag and again it gets disputed.
However the invalidators also see the flag in their flagging history and it also ends up being "disputed". This is the part I am having trouble with.
Suppose the system auto-flagged a very good, but awfully short and LaTeX-y answer as low-quality (which happens more often then one should hope for). When I invalidates the flag, I actually signal the moderator "Hey, this flag is just wrong!". While I don't know what data on the people who flagged is available, the fact that someone point this is an invalid flag should signal that there is a good possibility that it is in fact invalid.
Yet, I do not get credit for that. In fact, no one does. Slowly in the past few weeks my "disputed" flags count rose quickly, and I feel that especially when countering automatic flags there is no reason for dispute.
If the flag got invalidated (either by a group of users, or by a moderator) then my contribution was ultimately helpful. If it was not helpful (e.g. I invalidated the flag, but a moderator did accept it as helpful) then my contribution was declined.
Seeing how this is not the current view of disputed flags, I was wondering what in my train of thoughts went off the tracks of the SE overlords who designed this; and if nothing went off, could we somehow revise the philosophy behind the flag status?