Dublin to New York City Portal Shut Down Due to Inappropriate Behavior – Roamight
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Dublin to New York City Portal Shut Down Due to Inappropriate Behavior

17 May 2024 0 Comments
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It didn't take long for controversy to hit the newly installed sculptures that connected Dublin, Ireland, and New York City. Less than a week after the debut of these public installations, the livestream between the two cities has been temporarily shut down due to inappropriate behavior from some participants.

The Concept Behind "The Portals"

"The Portals" are round, lens-like sculptures featuring a 24/7 video link designed to allow residents and visitors in both cities to interact in real time. The installations, however, do not include audio. The goal was to foster a sense of global connection and community, providing a unique way for people to communicate across continents.

Initial Success and Immediate Issues

The launch of The Portals on May 8, 2024, saw enthusiastic participation, with many enjoying the chance to wave and interact with people across the Atlantic. However, social media quickly filled with videos showing individuals flashing body parts at the camera, leading to a swift response from the creators and city councils involved.

Response from Authorities

Dublin City Council released a statement acknowledging the issue and expressing their disappointment. They noted that while the majority of interactions were positive, a small minority engaged in inappropriate behavior. The council is exploring technical solutions, such as blurring, to prevent such actions, but initial attempts were unsatisfactory.

Temporary Shutdown and Future Plans

Both Dublin and New York have decided to temporarily shut down the portals. In Dublin, the livestream was turned off at 10 p.m. local time on Tuesday, while the New York portal ceased operations at 5 p.m. local time the same day. Portals.org, the organization behind the sculptures, is actively seeking effective measures to mitigate inappropriate behavior and hopes to reactivate the portals later this week.

Security Measures

In New York, the project organizers, including the Flatiron NoMad Partnership, emphasized that the inappropriate actions were carried out by a very small minority. They have implemented several protocols since the launch, including 24/7 on-site security and physical barriers to prevent people from stepping onto the portal.

The Vision of the Portals Project

The portals were created by Lithuanian artist Benediktas Gylys with the intention of expanding global connections. Dublin's Lord Mayor, Daithí de Róiste, highlighted the project's aim to make the city more inclusive, fostering connections outside of social circles and cultures. He noted the deep historical and cultural bond between Dublin and New York.

Future Connections

Looking ahead, Dublin plans to expand the portals project, with connections to Poland, Brazil, and Lithuania expected in July. The portals are part of Dublin's events to celebrate its designation as the 2024 EU Capital of Smart Tourism.

In summary, while The Portals have faced initial challenges, the overwhelming response has been positive. Efforts are ongoing to ensure that this innovative project continues to bring people together across the globe in a respectful and meaningful way.

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