https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/606142/22653 contained some unnecessarily unkind responses which I flagged as unkind. One was a blatantly rude response to a legitimate query that an acronym be expanded as it was not easily determined through web search. The other was a backlash to the original rude comment.
Later, I notice that my flags are rejected. This is astonishing, because by any reasonable interpretation of "unfriendly or unkind", they were... completely off-topic and disrespectful with no relevance to the question or answer.
Now I see the two comments were removed, because, I presume, someone was actually able to properly categorize them as inappropriate.
Still, it seems kind of weird that people would reject this flag, the flagger gets pinged, and then later activity justifies the original flag to the point the comment is removed, but the rejectee remains pinged, and, I'm guessing, the rejecter probably walks away with nothing to help them refine their own efforts.
I realize that in any online forum, there will always be trolls and anti-trolls, and that at some point one has to remain somewhat calloused to avoid over-reacting and contributing to the problem, but the "unfriendly or unkind" flag is, well, not at all worded to discourage soft-selling combative or rude comments.
Perhaps someone should be able to respond to rejects of this nature. I know, who wants the extra work? But on the other hand, I really don't care to flag if this is how its going to go down when people don't want to have to call something for what it is, or when the wording of the flag reason is unclear, or over-broad, and promotes this sort of thing.
To make the point that I'm not objecting to rejects as a whole, I also felt the answer violated a policy of requiring an answer author to disclose affiliations with their response and did flag as such. This flag was rejected also. On that reject, I took a hint that not everyone felt it was a self-promotion (though one could see in the comments that I documented how it appeared to be). I then followed advice to use other means to address the situation by editing to add a disclosure, and, to echo the reserve of others, used a down vote (for various reasons addressed in other's comments; not just the disclosure issue). I took this as a "learning experience". On the other two though, the thing I learned was that rejects seem too sticky when they were later proven to be wrong.
I'll also remark that a couple other rejects on the question aren't being contested because they are more likely to be related to action/reaction to other comment activity more close to being personal.
Feel free to elaborate with detail on what constitutes "unfriendly or unkind" even though the COC: unfriendly-language is hardly unclear. Perhaps additional thoughts could be a constructive response to a situation of this nature. I've searched Meta a bit, but don't really find anything that does more than echo my own confusion about how these terms are hard to understand.
Please also feel free to address the problem of dealing with moderators that do not enforce clear policy that has little room for misunderstanding.
I have reviewed the Why does flag marking as helpful/declined not always correlate with moderator action? FAQ, but it does not address the accumulation of rejects even though the action that should have occurred finally did occur.
Re: Jeff Schaller's answer:
The primary takeaway is apparently:
The flag option one must select to effectively enforce the CoC without declines does not link to the CoC!
As a new flagger with 1 "helpful", 4 "declined", and 1 "pending". 3 "declined" flags are for actual inappropriate comments. 1 pending likely will devolve to a "decline" (maybe its border line?) but due to proximity to actual confessed snark, probably was also actually unkind. I never intended to challenge the "spam" decline. Basically, 66% of the flags are "declined" but are legitimate attempts to enforce CoC. [ I have since retracted the "maybe borderline" tag. Its just not worth the hassle. ]
It is really hard to swallow the explanation that "unfriendly or unkind" really means "rude or abusive". Those comments WERE "unfriendly or unkind" by a traditional meaning of the words, and the "unfriendly or unkind" link to the CoC certainly doesn't mince words about whether "subtle putdowns" are allowed or not. All I really get from this is that someone didn't want to remove/edit flagged content, and that I suffer the consequence despite the fact that I actually was attempting to support the CoC [as linked]. The flags should been rewarded; instead, demerits were assigned!
This discourages flagging. That snarky comments are not "unfriendly or unkind" but are rather are "no longer needed" is somewhat mind blowing. Is it not inevitable that other people will continue to call snark unkind/unfriendly based on the CoC wording, and principles of least astonishment, etc?
It appears the effect is that someone who flags "unfriendly or unkind" is actually being punished as if they themselvers were "unfriendly or unkind" as an accumulation of these declines can actually result in a ban!
Regardless of technical nuances behind ranking "unkind or unfriendly" as harsher rudeness or blatant abuse, snark IS worse than "no longer useful", and should get deleted or edited away. (Comments can't be edited, so there is no alternative to deletion, and besides, mods routinely defend comment deletion by saying that they are always considered transient, or some such.)
It should not be the case that someone who names snark/unkindness/unfriendliness for what it is, accumulates declines that contribute toward eventual banning. (Perhaps seriousness of this is mitigated in that declines may be transient. i.e. time elapse may diminish the potential to result in a ban). The referenced article even contains a "When are these flags removed? paragraph that points to the related concern behind this question:
(declining the flag would penalize the flagger).
The answer may help me avoid declines via semantics, but others will have declines happen without seeing this explanation and also find themselves discouraged from flagging. The system is surely broken?
I appreciate the effort taken to answer, and I appreciate that it can be helpful. I get that at some level the tools are challenging.
In summary, the answer really doesn't address accumulating declines, but rather tries to offer a workaround that dodges the problem by altering user behavior, and does not help advocate for improvement of the system. (It is granted that the author has no power to change the system and that this in itself is undoubtedly frustrating).