This article is for Filtering/Reporting Administrators and Owner/Global Administrators.
Wildcards are symbols used to replace or represent one or more characters in a text string, in this case a website’s path. The wildcard symbol for School Manager is the asterisk (*).
You can add wildcards to content filtering policies in School Manager to allow or block specific website URLs or keywords contained in website addresses. You can’t use wildcards in the domain or subdomain of the website’s address. Wildcards are useful for creating policies when:
- you aren’t sure about the full website URL, example
- there are multiple spellings of a term in the URL, example
- you need to block multiple pages on the same website, example
You can use School Manager’s wildcards either as 'single sided” or “double sided” wildcards.
|string*||Truncates the URL.
Filters all pages whose website paths have similar spelling.
Adding the single wildcard will filter based on the website path string, such as:
|*string*||‘Must contain’ search.
Filters all pages with the nominated keyword(s) contained in one part of a website’s path.
Adding the double wildcard will filter any sites with the word game contained in the website path, such as:
Creating a Wildcard Content Filtering Policy
Create a Content Filtering Policy as you would normally and enter the wildcard URL in the Website type dropdown:
Filtering when you don’t know the full URL
If you aren’t sure about the full URL of the website you want to filter, you can use a wildcard to stand in for the elements you don’t know. This is particularly useful on sites that don’t have static URLs, or have URLs that end in strings of numbers and letters. For example:
Feed URL format: discord.com/channels/uniquedserverid/uniquechannelid
Filtering multiple pages with similar paths
You can use a wildcard to substitute for part or even most of a website path if want to filter several pages at once with similar paths. This is particularly useful on sites that have user-generated content. For example, on reddit, posts and user profiles typically have this format:
Post URL format: reddit.com/r/subredditname/comments/uniquepostid/posttitle
User profile URL format: reddit.com/user/uniqueusername
To let users browse reddit while stopping them from being able to see any reddit user profile, you would create a block rule using this URL:
Filtering different spellings of terms
When there are multiple spellings of a term in a URL, it can make it difficult to filter all variations correctly. For example, a website may have two pages about gaming, one of which is “sites.google.com/site/game” or “sites.google.com/site/gaming”. To block both, you’d create a block rule using this URL: