Advanced YouTube Filtering

YouTube provides a unique problem for internet filters such as K9 Web Protection. Usually, access to YouTube.com is on an "all-or-nothing" basis. Blue Coat, the company which provides ratings for K9 Web Protection, categorizes YouTube.com as "Open Image/Media Search" since the individual videos on the site may or may not contain offensive content.

A K9 user can choose whether to block or allow this category, or they can choose to block or allow YouTube.com itself. However, this solution either leaves the user completely unprotected when they visit YouTube.com, or it completely disallows access to the site.

This is compounded by the fact that many other websites embed YouTube videos on their pages. Blocking YouTube.com will prevent access to these embedded videos as well.

To address these concerns, beginning in version 4.4.268, K9 Web Protection has implemented a feature known as "Advanced YouTube Filtering".

What is Advanced YouTube Filtering?

When a user attempts to open a video on YouTube.com, K9 Web Protection will use additional information about the video to determine the categorization of that specific video, rather than treating all videos as "Open Image/Media Search". Videos will be categorized according to their content, such as Sports/Recreation, Vehicles, Adult/Mature Content, or Nudity. Your regular K9 settings will then be applied to that video. So, if you are blocking the "Adult/Mature Content" category, but allowing the "Vehicles" category, a YouTube video about cars would be allowed, while an adult-oriented YouTube video will be blocked.

Videos embedded on other web sites will apply the categorization of the website that is embedding it.

How do I enable Advanced YouTube Filtering?

Since Advanced YouTube Filtering is still an experimental feature, we need your help to test it out. It is not enabled by default, but anyone running version 4.4.268 or later of K9 can turn it on and use it. Simply follow these steps to enable the feature:

  1. Launch K9 Web Protection Administration (visit http://127.0.0.1:2372 on a computer running K9)
  2. Click on "Setup" and log in
  3. Click on "Other Settings" and enable the option for "Advanced YouTube Filtering"
  4. Click "Save"

Important: You must also ensure that "youtube.com" is *NOT* added to your "Always Allow" or "Always Block" web site exception lists.

Why is this feature experimental?

Since this feature is still under development, it may either over- or under-block individual videos, or miscategorize them. If you encounter a video that is categorized incorrectly, please report it via our site review form

For those who do not want to risk miscategorization of websites, they can leavethe Advanced YouTube Filtering feature disabled, and the previous behavior of K9 will be applied (i.e. YouTube.com will be categorized as "Open Image/Media Search").

Please submit feedback for this feature at our Feedback Form