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Dublin-New York livestream portal temporarily shuts after ‘inappropriate behaviour’

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A livestream portal between Dublin and New York was temporarily shut down after “inappropriate behaviour” in the Irish capital.

Thousands of people have visited the two-way portal, which allows people on either side to see and interact with each other.

And while there have been a number of wholesome moments – including Irish dancing and even a proposal – a handful of people have behaved “inappropriately”, Dublin City Council has said.

Videos on social media have shown people on the Irish side flashing body parts, and displaying images of 9/11 and swear words on phone screens.

A woman was also escorted away by police after being seen grinding against the portal.

In a statement issued on Monday evening, a spokesperson for Dublin City Council said “technical solutions” to address this are being implemented in the next 24 hours.

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People in each city could be seen greeting each other when the portal opened last week. Pic: Reuters

“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,” they said.

“The team at portals.org and partners are still working on improving the software for better stability and to prepare for Portals to expand to more locations on Earth.

“Those works are being done mostly at night and during those hours, the livestream might be paused.”

Dublin City Council noted there has been an increase in footfall since the Portal was unveiled in north Dublin, facing O’Connell Street. The New York portal is at the busy Manhattan junction of Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street.

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New Yorkers greet people in Dublin during the reveal of The Portal in New York City, U.S., May 8, 2024. Pic: Reuters
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Most interactions via the portals have been wholesome. Pic: Reuters

“The overwhelming majority of interactions are positive,” the spokesperson added. “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.”

The Portals Organisation said: “We do not intend to suggest people to interact with Portals 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.

“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.”

In an earlier statement, they confirmed the livestream had been paused so they could “update the software used on the Portal”.

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