Trying to block YouTube Shorts but having difficulty

ryan_bender
New Contributor III

The school I work for wants to block students from accessing youtube.com/shorts.  If I add that URL to the Blocked list in the configuration profile, it blocks all of YouTube as well.  That we don't want to block.  Is there a way to do this?

7 REPLIES 7

AJPinto
Valued Contributor

It sounds like your employer wants a level of granular management with web traffic that is beyond the scope of MDM.

 

I recommend checking with Google to see if you can block this on their student ID's. You can disable YouTube shorts in YouTube settings, Google may allow you to manage this. Beyond that you probably need a proper network security tool that can have custom rules for what sites, and site content can be accessed with your devices. If you have JAMF Data Policy, check with your JAMF Rep to see if they can provide information. I would wager that YouTube classes all websites (video's) the same, so any tool telling what is a regular video vs a short would be difficult unless you can target the video time length with a traffic policy.

mainelysteve
Valued Contributor II

Using configuration profiles as a poor mans web filter isn't going to get you very far unfortunately. It more or less can only do TLD blocks i.e. youtube.com, ohiostinks-mainerules.com, etc.  I'd invest in a proper web filter and then use it to force Google safe search and YouTube restricted mode. That 'should' take care of shorts being visible to students. If you're working with a shoestring budget then you could use your on-prem DNS server to achieve the two items above. Click here for more info on that.

Are you US based or elsewhere?

ryan_bender
New Contributor III

Thanks for the replies!  We do have proper web filters on campus.  This was more for when the students are off campus.

AJPinto
Valued Contributor

Maybe a per-app VPN for youtube to push it in to your campus network so the content can be filtered remotely?

ryan_bender
New Contributor III

I can already hear our network admin laughing at that one! 😂

AJPinto
Valued Contributor

We just come up with solution to the insane situations we get asked to resolved. Modern problems require modern solutions lol. Cant manage network traffic for any traffic not on our network, so make the traffic go through our network. The rest is the network admins problem :D. 

Gotcha, wasn't sure if you had a filter or not. Is the filter cloud based or an on-prem appliance? For reference we use Cisco Umbrella and it uses a dns proxy configuration profile to force its DNS address on all networks the device(iPads in our case) connects to. That means other than informing students and parents of the off campus filtering I didn't need to do anything special.