Update the filter - especially the gaming category
We have far to many gaming sites being accessed by students - your filter for catching these is not very good, as evidenced by the long list I have to keep adding to each day.
Thanks for pushing for an improvement in our filtering. As a first step, we just released an algorithm to do automatic website categorization for the three most requested categories – “pornography”, “online games”, and “movies and television”. Thus, if a student accesses an uncategorized site, we check the content on each page and add it to the above categories automatically if the content matches.
What this means for you: considering that there are thousands of websites created every day specifically to circumvent URL blocking, category blacklisting will be more effective in blocking new and uncategorized sites. In addition, you should be able to spend less time manually tracking new sites that are getting around the filter and adding them to our and your blacklists.
We are currently categorizing 2000+ sites every day that students are visiting that would get around any list or database type filter. Please let me know if you have any feedback or suggested improvements!
Mark Fratto commented
You need to get creative with wildcards. I'd post my two blocks that catch about 98% of google site game sites here for you but students look at these forums so I wont. I will say this,
If the url has all of these terms then it will be blocked
Please implement machine learning techniques.
Bernie Capron commented
We have a major problems with homeade game sites being built on Google Sites. We do need Google Sites to be open and I block game sites that I find in the records, but its a constant game of cat and mouse and the mouse is winning. Someone mentioned that categorization isn't effective anymore and I would tend to agree with that, given the overwhelming number of new sites that are created every day. It would be cool if algorithms or AI could somehow play a part to automatically detect and block, or at least flag them so an admin can review.
Bob Summers commented
It's been a year...do you have an answer for this? Today I two parents in about this...the sites are bad and uncat'd.
Kevin Christopher commented
Categories have grown increasingly useless over the past 6 months. The new user interface does not allow you to suggest categories, you have to switch back to the old. Even websites that notifications catch and do not have a category nothing happens to. And then there is the parents, enough said. Adding new features that kind of work and hiding things that do work is not a way to advance a product.
Kurt von Schwedler commented
Nick Rider commented
An easy solution to this problem is to add a checkbox that will by default block all websites that are not categorized. Boom Problem solved. Mic Drop....
Joshua Bierman commented
instead of general update (which needs to happen anyway) please allow us to subscribe to filter lists that are open source.
For instance, a lot of good malware filter lists exist and are updated daily.
Why not use (or support) a third-party URL provider? And extend it as needed (to support multiple categories for a website, for example). I too think your database is VERY weak.
James Mahnke commented
Add another Enabled/Disabled button next to "Block All Except Whitelist" that states "Block All Except Unchecked Blacklist Categories"
James Mahnke commented
A tweak that may solve this problem is to allow "whitelisting all known/categorized sites". We can still chose to Blacklist by Category but anything unchecked is allowed so long as it is a verified site in your database. This way any sites that are unknown are automatically blacklisted. This simple addition would make a WORLD of difference!
John Reiels commented
This is true for gaming and other categories. For instance, we block webcomics with the GoGuardian subject "Web Comics" under "Time Wasting." We found that many sites that have "webcomics" as part of the URL are not blocked by this setting-yes, even when webcomic is part of the URL, it's not blocked. We have added *webcomic* in our blocked list because so few of the webcomic sites were being blocked.