United States

New York-Dublin Portal Closed: 'Inappropriate Behavior' Causes Temporary Shutdown

The recently launched interactive portal between New York and Dublin has been temporarily shut down due to "inappropriate behavior" from users in Dublin. This innovative global installation, aimed at fostering cross-cultural connections, faced setbacks just days after opening.

Dublin City Council
NYC-Dublin Portal Temporarily Closed After 'Inappropriate Behavior' Photo: Dublin City Council

Last week, a portal opened between New York, USA, and Dublin, Republic of Ireland. However, less than a week after its opening, the portal had to be temporarily closed due to instances of "inappropriate behavior" originating from the Dublin side.

The concept of the portals, devised by Lithuanian artist Benediktas Gylys, is quite innovative. These installations feature a large circular screen that streams live footage between two cities—initially New York, USA, and Dublin, Republic of Ireland, with the possibility of including more cities in the future.

"Portals are an invitation to meet people above borders and differences and to experience our world as it really is - united and one," Gylys stated. “The livestream provides a window between distant locations, allowing people to meet outside of their social circles and cultures, transcend geographical boundaries, and embrace the beauty of global interconnectedness.”

Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí De Róiste also encouraged both Dubliners and visitors to interact with the installation. "I would encourage Dubliners and visitors to the city to come and interact with the sculpture, and extend an Irish welcome and kindness to cities all over the world."

The portal has been met with great excitement in both cities, with various performances scheduled to take place via the livestream in the coming months.

NYC Dublin Portal Photo: Reuters

However, not everyone behaves responsibly when in front of a camera. Shortly after the portal started streaming, footage of inappropriate conduct began to appear online. This included individuals in Dublin displaying images of the 9/11 attacks, showing offensive language and other inappropriate visuals on their phone screens, and even some instances of people exposing themselves towards New York.

Shortly thereafter, the portal was temporarily closed while the Dublin City Council explored "technical solutions" to address these issues.

According to the council, the portal's temporary closure was a response to "inappropriate behavior" exhibited by "a very small minority of people."

"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," the council stated in comments reported by BBC News.

"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."

As per RTÉ, the technical fix will prevent images held up to the portal's cameras from being shown on the other side.

This solution may not completely stop inappropriate behavior, but it should make it more challenging.