However, in the closed (frenemies) model, what matters most is the quality of the relationship you build with friends. So in the situation above, your duty is to side with your friend against your enemy. It doesn't matter that you secretly agree with your enemy.
I think this is a completely made up narrative. Who has ever taken a position they disagree with because a person they have never met also took that position? I know that people who advance unpopular positions gravitate to this narrative because "everyone is picking on me because I'm not in the in-crowd" is more palatable than "no one is supporting me, maybe I should listen to their arguments" but I for one have never expressed an opinion other than my own. That doesn't mean there aren't schools of thought here and people's beliefs tend to run together, but to say that someone is actively advocating a position they don't believe in because of what his or her friend posted previously just feels like an ad hominem attack. "I don't like what you are saying so I will discount your argument by saying you are just part of a clique and don't think for yourself" is a lot easier than rebutting a legitimate argument that runs counter to yours.
As for A2K, this type of old-style board has significant competition. Someone who wants a quick answer to a question is often better served by going to a site that is specific to their question or a place like Yahoo Answers. If you have a specific interest, there are chat boards that cater to just what you want. I could try debating who the greatest tennis player of all time is here but the conversation is going to be much better at a tennis website. If you just want to socialize, Facebook works great and we've lost a number of former regulars there. A general, all purpose site seems less efficient and honestly people posing basic questions here are often subject to ridicule instead of help. Still, A2K has loyal sub-cultures (puzzle solving has been brought up) and IMO is much better moderated than a lot of places. No one is telling me how much money they made from home working on the Internet. I doubt A2K will see much growth going forward not because of any particular failing of the site or the community but just because times have changed. A site revamp won't change that.