Remember “Baby Shark”? The insanely popular song has garnered over 3 billion views on YouTube, and is notorious for being incredibly annoying. But in the sunny city of West Palm Beach, Florida, the song is serving another purpose.
The city’s parks and rec department have decided that playing the song repeatedly on blast would be the perfect solution to shooing away the city’s homeless population. The homeless are surely upset by this, as there’s nothing they can do (doo doo doo doo doo.)
According to Josh K. Elliot of Global News, the city’s plan is “apart of their effort to protect the city’s Lake Pavilion, an event space with several glass walls and a large patio.
The plan effectively stops the city’s homeless from being able to sleep at the facility, as the space is a popular spot for wedding receptions.
According to the West Palm Beach Post, Leah Rockwell, the Parks and Recreation director defended the unorthodox practice.
“People are paying a lot of money to use the facility,” she says. “Thousands of dollars. We want to make sure people paying this money had a facility that was clean and open and continue to use it in the future.”
The song is a maddening tune with a very simple, yet devastating hook, repeated several times. After this song, another song called “It’s Raining Tacos” is played, which may somehow be more annoying than Baby Shark.
One member of the West Palm Beach’s homeless community, Illaya Champion, says the music is annoying, but that the music isn’t enough of a deterrent during the rainy season. “It don’t bother me,” he told the Palm Beach Post. “I still lay down in there, but it’s on and on—the same songs.”
The city also runs a number of outreach programs to help the homeless. The main issue, according to Parks and Rec director Rockwell, is the impact on the commercial venues the homeless could have.
“We are not forcing individuals to stay on the patio of the pavilion to listen to the music,” Rockwell said. “The music is heard only if you are on the patio, [which is] a very small area relative to the rest of the waterfront.”
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