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A livestream portal between Dublin and New York was temporarily closed after some ‘inappropriate behaviour’ in the Irish capital Niall Carson/PA Images
portal

Dublin-New York livestream temporarily closed over ‘inappropriate behaviour’

Dublin City Council said a small minority of people have engaged in “inappropriate behaviour”, which has been amplified on social media.

LAST UPDATE | 13 May

A LIVESTREAM PORTAL between Dublin and New York was temporarily closed after some “inappropriate behaviour” in the Irish capital, which has led to changes in how the visual link operates.

The “technical solutions” are set to go live in the next 24 hours, according to Dublin City Council. It said a small minority of people have engaged in “inappropriate behaviour”, which has been amplified on social media.

Thousands of people have visited the two-way livestream portal, which gives a real-time view of New York.

The 24/7 stream is situated on North Earl Street, facing O’Connell Street, while the American installation is on Fifth Avenue.

Videos on social media have shown how some on the Irish side have flashed body parts, displayed swear words on phone screens and images of the twin towers on 9/11.

Another woman was escorted away by Irish police after she was seen grinding against the portal.

‘Minority of people’

In a statement, a spokesman for Dublin City Council said that the Portal “facilitates a wide range of human interactions and engagements”.

“Within days of the launch, the Dublin and NYC Portals have received hundreds of millions of positive impressions on social media and widespread global coverage in the press including CNN, BBC, USA Today.

“We have also seen a significant increase in footfall to the Portal since its launch around North Earl Street and O’Connell Street.

“The overwhelming majority of interactions are positive. We have seen families and friends unite, dancing moves being shared as well as new friendships being made. There was even a successful marriage proposal.

“The Portal offers a window to other cities and is connecting people and cultures in a unique manner – what we are seeing between Dublin and NY is reflective of a wider narrative of cultural behaviour.

Unfortunately, we have also been witnessing a very small minority of people engaged in inappropriate behaviour, which has been amplified through social media.

“While we cannot control all of these actions, we are implementing some technical solutions to address this and these will go live in the next 24 hours.

“We will continue to monitor the situation over the coming days with our partners in New York to ensure that Portals continue to deliver a positive experience for both cities and the world.”

The Portals Organisation, the company behind the installation, said it does not intend to suggest that people interact with the portal “in any particular way”.

“Our goal is to open a window between far away places and cultures that allows people to interact freely with one another,” a statement noted. 

We encourage people to be respectful and from our position as observers, we see that the absolute majority of experiences is on the bright side.

However, in an earlier statement a spokeswoman for Portals Organisation said that it briefly paused the livestream to “update the software used on the Portal”.

With reporting by Diarmuid Pepper and Órla Ryan

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