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A livestream video portal connecting Dublin and New York was meant to bring the cities together — instead, it's devolved into chaos

Alexandra Bacon   

A livestream video portal connecting Dublin and New York was meant to bring the cities together — instead, it's devolved into chaos
  • A livestream portal installed in Dublin and New York had to temporarily close after reports of inappropriate behavior.
  • Some enjoyed the portal: they shared videos of themselves dancing and uniting with loved ones.

A large circular video portal opened up on May 8 in Dublin and New York City. It's part of a public art installation, and city officials across each side of the Atlantic hoped it would be a way to bring people together.

The two-way livestream lets passers-by peak into the corresponding city and interact with those 3,000 miles away. But days later, it was temporarily closed for technical changes to be made, as people began acting inappropriately.

Videos circulating on social media have shown people flashing their naked body parts, showing pornographic videos, and mocking 9/11.

The livestream was paused overnight on Monday to allow technical changes to be implemented to address inappropriate behavior and is now back up and running, a spokesperson for Dublin City Council told BI.

It was meant to connect the two cities

On opening day, people were encouraged to "interact with the sculpture and extend an Irish welcome and kindness to cities all over the world," the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daithí de Róiste, said in a press statement.

Videos of people waving to each other on either side of the portal were shared widely on social media — with one TikTok gaining over 23 million views.

Some used the installation to share positive moments. ABC News shared a video of two flight attendant sisters in each city uniting through the screen.

"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," Dublin City Council said in a statement.

But there were also videos that began to circulate online of some people engaging in "inappropriate behavior," the council added.

'Inappropriate behavior'

A number of drunken Dubliners were seen standing in front of the portal pretending to take cocaine, holding up their phones to show pornographic videos, and showing photos of the Twin Towers on 9/11, per Irish radio station RTÉ Radio 1.

One man was seen exposing his bare bottom in front of the portal in Dublin, as the crowd around him cheered, according to a TikTok video seen 1.7 million times.

OnlyFans creator Ava Louise said that she got the portal shut down in New York after flashing her breasts to the screen. "I thought the people of Dublin deserved to see my two New York homegrown potatoes," Louise said in a TikTok video.

It even prompted Elon Musk to weigh in: "Inevitable," he commented on a video compilation of bad behavior at the portal posted on X.

The Portals Organization, which made the installation, said in a statement that their goal is to allow people to interact freely with one another across cultures but encourages everyone using the portal to be respectful.

However, the portal has left some social media users with a little less faith in these types of public installations involving new technologies.

'The NYC to Dublin portal is HELL," read one post on X. "Who thought a portal connecting Dublin to New York would be a good idea," read another post.


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