New York-Dublin portal back online after ‘inappropriate’ behavior

A livestream portal between Dublin and New York City reopened Monday after “inappropriate” behavior prompted the organizers to temporarily shut it down.

The company behind the art technology installations, called simply “The Portal,” said individuals who now step on the exhibit and block the camera will trigger a blurring on the livestream for both sides to prevent future problems with behaviors.

“The Portal sculptures are not meant to be touched or stepped upon,” the Dublin City Council, and the Flatiron NoMad wrote in a statement. “We have taken steps to limit instances of people stepping on the Portal and holding phones up to the camera lens.”

The changes come nearly a week after the livestream portals in both cities were temporarily shut down to allow for the technology company to explore potential solutions following reports of inappropriate behavior from a small group of people.

Clips on social media showed people in Dublin flashing body parts and showing pictures of 9/11 and swear words on their phone screen. In one instance, police escorted a woman away after she was seen grinding against the portal, SkyNews reported.

Both portals, which were unveiled earlier this month, initially had livestreams running 24/7 that allowed visitors to interact with one another in real-time. The new changes, however, will limit the stream’s hours of operations and will now run from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time in New York and 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time in Dublin, officials said Monday.

The New York site will have on-site security during operational hours as it did before, and fencing was installed in front of the site with more signage for crowd management, the City Council added. “Physical design features” are also being added to the Dublin location to assist with crowd management.

“As humans we are creating the Portals experience together. I invite local communities not only to enjoy but to care about their Portals and how other community members are approaching the sculptures,” artist and founder Benediktas Gylys said Monday.

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