New York To Dublin Video Portal (Unsurprisingly) Brings Out The Worst In People

Nudity, drug use and hate symbols all made an appearance on the cross-continental screens, which were erected last week.
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An attempt to connect people on both sides of the Atlantic has gone terribly awry after a pair of video portals linking New York and Dublin became the sites of pure debauchery.

Last week, a circular, eight-foot-wide screen weighing 3.5 tonnes was erected in each city, broadcasting live 24/7 video from New York’s Flatiron District to Dublin’s busy O’Connell Street, and vice versa.

The Big Apple’s chief public realm officer, Ya-Ting Liu, marveled at how “two amazing global cities” were “connected in real time and space” while Dublin’s lord mayor, Daithí de Róiste, said he hoped his citizens would “extend an Irish welcome and kindness to cities all over the world.”

But what the piece’s patron, Portals.org, said it hoped would be a “bridge to a united planet” quickly became scenes of chaos.

Those who visited the screens reported seeing several people flashing their private parts, while others openly did drugs, displayed swastikas and streamed pornography from their phones.

Some Dubliners used the portals to play video of the Twin Towers in flames on 9/11. One woman was even arrested for enjoying a 20-minute grinding session on the Irish installation.

People watch a live stream portal between Dublin and New York on Monday. The Irish portal was temporarily closed following "inappropriate behavior."
People watch a live stream portal between Dublin and New York on Monday. The Irish portal was temporarily closed following "inappropriate behavior."
Niall Carson - PA Images via Getty Images

Still, there were some charming stories from the screens.

The New York Post reported some cross-continental dance-offs, as well as a digital reunion between a mother and daughter, and some minor e-romance.

On Monday, The Guardian reported that the Dublin city council announced it would be making changes to the portal to combat the bad behavior.

“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,” it said, although the changes were not specified.

That same night, Dubliners saw that the portal had been turned off and was being patrolled by police. The screen came back online hours later, however, having reportedly suffered a “technical glitch.”

The New York-Dublin connection was the second set of portals to be built. The first two were unveiled in May 2021, linking the cities of Vilnius, Lithuania, and Lublin, Poland.

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