Why do we dissipate energy on conflicts?
I'm kind of like how flagging on Steem is mimicking conflict in real life. If you want a confrontation - it will cost you something. Big war will cost you a lot energy and reputation. Instead of confronting a person, he could use that energy to produce good things, but he fights and looses energy.
Same thing with the flagging of posts on the Steem platform - it cost you Steem Power, which you could use more efficiently by voting for good content, voting for a friend, selling your vote. Even voting for yourself is one thousand times better than entering into a downvote war with some steemian.
Another approach to deal with malicious actors.
You've found a post which gaming a system in some way or has malicious content. Usually we flag these kinds of posts. We want to hide it from other users, make it less visible, but we should pay for this, and if we have a small amount of Steem Power - than our downvote will not make any difference.
What if instead of downvote we will use simple comment, where we will describe that's been wrong and what we don't like. You could put some warning there: "This author is gaming the system. If you are voting for him - then you participating in it". And then use your Steem Power to upvote your comment and make visible to other steemians. In that way you will not lose anything and got better results than flagging. You are in the position of active defence now, other side of the conflict now must use the resources to downvote your message or provide an answer. In the worst case your comment will get downvoted, but you would lose that reward anyway choose you downvote route. In case of comment you are having a change to get upvoted by others, who agree that the author of the post is doing harm to the community.