Blocking Harmful and Distracting Website Features with Content Modification

This article is for IT Support at schools using Connect for Chrome or Windows devices configured in Companion Mode.

You can use Content Modification to block harmful or distracting features like comments or recommended videos on YouTube, both in and out of the classroom. Unlike traditional filters, it lets you dynamically customize which webpage elements students can see.

Note

School Manager Content Filtering block policies and Classwize block rules override Content Modifications. For example, if a Content Filtering policy blocks YouTube access, School Manager won’t apply your Content Modification policy to YouTube content.

You can create nine types of Content Modification Policies.

Type Description

Block Embedded Games

Remove embedded iFrames from websites categorized under the Blogging category. Students can access a games website in this category, but no game will load on the page, leaving a blank area where the game would be.

Hide Reddit Login

Hide Reddit from showing “Log In” and block the Log In / Sign Up functionality. Stop students from going to https://reddit.com/login, which results in displaying a blank page.

Hide YouTube Comments

Stop YouTube from showing comments. Stop students from being able to comment on YouTube videos.

Hide YouTube Description

Stop YouTube from showing video descriptions under videos.

Hide YouTube Menu

Stop YouTube from showing the left navigation menu and links within it. Students can still access those links directly if they know the full URL and enter it manually.

This content modification further complements the Hide YouTube Shorts content modification, reducing the chances that a student accesses these features.

Hide YouTube Playables

 

Stop YouTube Playables from showing games on the Playables page. Students can access the Playables button on the sidebar and go to the dedicated URL, but no games will show on the page, leaving a blank space where the games would be.

Hide YouTube Recommended Videos

Stop YouTube from showing recommended videos on its homepage and in the ‘Up next’ section.

Note

This policy type does not impact YouTube's auto-play feature or the display of video ads.

Hide YouTube Search

Stop YouTube from showing the search bar.

Hide YouTube Shorts

Stop YouTube Shorts from showing videos and scrolling to any new videos on the Shorts page. Students can access the Shorts button on the sidebar and go to the dedicated URL, but no videos will show on the page, leaving a blank space where the video would be.

Note

Users will still hear audio while on the Shorts page despite the video not displaying.

Prerequisites

To use Content Modification, ensure that Connect for Chrome or Companion Mode is enabled on students’ devices. If your school has a Linewize appliance, you must enable On School Manager Network Filtering for Connect for Chrome to perform Content Modification.

Create a Content Modification Policy

    1. In School Manager, select Filtering > Content Modification.
    2. Select Create Policy or edit an existing policy.
    3. Name your policy.
    4. Set the Type of your policy to one of the available content modifications (see table above).
    5. Use Criteria to set who the policy will apply to.

      Warning

      Selecting multiple criteria in a Policy requires the first criteria AND all other criteria to be true before the policy applies. For example, If you select a Group and Network criteria for a policy, the policy would only apply to users who are both in the selected group and on the IP subnet.

    6. Select Save Policy.

 

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5 comments

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  • Who can see the Content Modification item in the left window?  One of my admins does not.   What rights do you need to see / configure this?

    Also with Classwise there is the Locked rule and the unlocked rule.    I suspect this is locked and cannot be overridden.   Correct?

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  • Also you might want to explain what some rules do more.   It does seem to stop autoplay of the next video which is a good thing.   Does this do anything else?  Commercials?  

    Nice job on giving us more tools.

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  • Thanks for your feedback, Mike! We're glad it's a useful tool for you. We'll also get right on updating the article with answers to your questions and expanding on what the rules do. But in the mean time:

    Who can see the Content Modification item in the left window?  One of my admins does not.   What rights do you need to see / configure this?

    Users with a role that gives them access to filtering (Owner/Global Admin, Filtering / Reporting Administrator, Filtering Administrator and Cloud Only Filter Administrator) should be able to see and use Content Modifications. However, they will need to enable it in the Feature Lab first. If they've got the right role and have enabled Content Modifications the Feature Lab but still don't have access, please contact our support team so they can find out what's going on.

    Also with Classwise there is the Locked rule and the unlocked rule.    I suspect this is locked and cannot be overridden.   Correct?

    Yes, Locked policies (rules) will override other rules, including any Classwize rule.

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  • What does the "Block Embedded Games"  entry actually do in the Content Modification rule?  I think we need more details on what that actually does to make an informed decision.  Does this go after the games on Google Sites or?  Thanks!

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  • Hi Ed Leader, thanks for your comment! An article update is coming soon, but for now, the Block Embedded Games content modification rule removes embedded iFrames from all websites categorized under the Blogging signature, which includes Google Sites. Students can access the site, but no games will load on the page, leaving a blank area where the game would be.

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