Dublin-New York portal reopens but with limited hours

A live video “portal” connecting Dublin and New York has reopened after a temporary closure due to instances of “inappropriate behaviour.” The continuous live stream, which enables users in both cities to see and interact with each other, was shut down on May 14, less than a week after its inauguration. During the closure, a message on the screen indicated, “Portal is asleep – back up soon.”

Numerous incidents were widely shared on social media, where users engaged in “mooning,” displaying swear words, and exposing various body parts. One particularly controversial incident involved a Dublin user showing a video of the 9/11 attacks in New York.

Dublin City Council announced that the livestream will now operate from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM local time in Dublin and from 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time in New York. According to the council, the portal has attracted tens of thousands of visitors and nearly two billion online impressions since its launch.

“The overwhelming majority of visitors to the portal sculptures have experienced the joy and connectedness these public art installations are designed to inspire,” the council’s statement read. It also reminded the public that the sculptures are not intended to be touched or stepped on.

To address misuse, measures have been implemented to reduce instances of people stepping on the portal or holding phones up to the camera. The Portals.org team has introduced a proximity-based solution that blurs the livestream if anyone steps on the portal and obstructs the camera, affecting the feed on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Dublin portal is situated near the junction of North Earl Street and O’Connell Street, a prominent location in the city. The New York portal is located at the Flatiron South Public Plaza, at the bustling intersection of Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street.

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