Thus the quotation marks. What I mean, is that a side could win by default (or seem to) simply because of the sheer number of others who might voice similar opinions or take certain positions that would be naturally opposed to another position. Additionally, that can happen even with the utmost civility.
I did not say that you were supporting all of what Loogawa said, merely restating what he said to provide proper context for what I am saying.
In a debate setting, the winner is determined by the strength of their argument. The number of participants is also predetermined, unlike what seems to be proposed here. Thus, in a formal debate, a position cannot be overwhelmed by numbers within the constraints of the debate.
In a setting like hubski, where users are encouraged to freely wander in and out of threads, contributing where they feel they should, what I am outlining seems very possible. Again, thus the quotation marks.
It might not be consciously done, but say that people looking on decide to share an argument because they agree with it, or even badge it. Well, then that lends itself to at least the appearance of popular assent. If members go further and comment, indicating their assent and perhaps adding to that particular argument rather than addressing the other side, well then that might lend itself to the appearance of a win, too. All of that can be accomplished without any aggression at all.