This article is written for Google Workspace for Education administrators.

Google Chat allows you to hold conversations with your students, both 1:1 and in groups of three or more. While it also allows students to talk to each other personally, too many young, mischievous minds flocked together may not be the greatest idea. For instance, students can use, or rather misuse, the rooms and group chat options to share irrelevant, inappropriate, and problematic content with each other. The rooms themselves may be inappropriately named for “specific” purposes which can lead to harmful environments for easily influenced minds. This directly contradicts the constructive and informative atmosphere you work so hard to create for and within them.

An example group conversation where problematic content could be shared
An example group conversation where problematic content could be shared

Safe Doc chrome extension comes to your aid in preventing some troublemaking students from negatively influencing others. If you are yet to install Safe Doc for your Google Workplace domain, try it out in a free 30-day trial.

What's the change?

Safe Doc allows you to remove the new group chat and new room options altogether, thereby eliminating the possibility for students to even create them.

In the search bar, students originally have the option to create and find group conversations. Safe Doc eliminates the Start group conversation, Create room, and Browse rooms options from the search bar.

In the left panel where all the chat conversations are visible, group chats also appear, while just below that list, rooms are also visible. After implementing Safe Doc’s BlockChatRooms policyfeature, group conversations are removed from the chat list and the entire Rooms drop-down menu is no longer available.

Each direct message to a friend or peer has the option to be converted into a group conversation by adding more people. After the change, the Start a new chat menu that allows this to happen is removed.

In the View Members dialog box, the Add people (+) button can also be used to create a group conversation. After implementation of this configuration, the button is no longer visible.

If students had made or joined rooms previously, they could search for them and rejoin them by typing their names. Safe Doc removes all existing rooms from search results.

How to configure Safe Doc?

Before you start, make sure you have deployed Safe Doc and read Safe Doc Configuration .

The policy configuration for disabling group chats and chat rooms is BlockChatRooms. To stop Safe Doc from blocking the chat room option, set the policy value to false in your configuration.

"BlockChatRooms": {
  "Value": true
}