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Weird, weren't GitHub and friends restoring these repositories for these unlucky users?

I assume they're trying to contact the repo owners to see how they want to proceed. Even if the change seems obvious, changing the contents of a repo is definitely a case where the git host should involve the owner of the repo (barring ToS violations).

This is the safer bet. The host should offer to restore from their own backups, but some customers may have already taken care of their own stuff.

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