Dublin 'Portal' May See Changes Due To 'Inappropriate Behaviour'

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Changes are set to be made to the way the "Portal" installation in Dublin is operating due to "inappropriate behaviour" from some people using it, according to Dublin City Council.

The council have stated that a very small minority of people have behaved inappropriately at the portal, which is located between O'Connell Street and Dublin City's North Earl Street. They added that it has been "amplified through social media".   

They said, "While we cannot control all of these actions, we are implementing some technical solutions to address this and these will go live in the next 24 hours. 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". 

According to reports published in the New York Post, such "inappropriate behaviour" included people in Dublin exposing certain body parts, making inappropriate gestures, and holding up footage of 9/11.

It was also said that the "technical issues" would go live in the next 24 hours, and that the council would continue to monitor the use of this art installation, connecting Dublin to New York via the visual link. These specific technical issues have not been identified by the council at the time of writing.

The Big Apple portal is located on the Flatiron South Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, one of New York's most dynamic intersections.

These two portals are part of a public art project, which aims to unite citizens via technology on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. 

"a wider narrative"

In a statement, Dublin City Council have insisted that there has been an increased footfall in the area since the project's launch, adding that there has been hundreds of millions of positive impressions on social media, and positive global international media exposure. 

"The overwhelming majority of interactions are positive. 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", they said. 

"The Portal is for the public to use and we encourage people to enjoy it, interact with it and to continue to meet and say hello to people outside of their social circles and cultures". 

Elsewhere, the Lithuanian based company behind the installation, Portals Organisation also released a statement of their own.

"As Portals Organization, 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", they said. 

The installation's operator added that this video was interrupted due to a "technical glitch" in the software, with Portals.org explained that the technical team were looking into the cause of this problem, and intend to improve the feed's stability for future reference.  


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