Briefing: Microsoft workers petition to defend viral ‘996’ GitHub repository

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A Post About China’s “996” Workweek Went Viral On Github. Now Microsoft Employees Want To Protect It From Censorship. – BuzzFeed News

What happened: Employees at Microsoft have started a petition asking the company to pledge to protect the viral GitHub repository advocating against the Chinese tech industry’s “996” workweek from possible censorship. They say that the post has been censored on some Chinese browsers and are afraid that Microsoft will be pressured to remove it from GitHub altogether. The petition, which began circulating publicly on Monday and says that the Microsoft workers “stand in solidarity with tech workers in China,” has been signed by 30 employees so far.

Why it’s important: The 996.ICU repository has become one of the most popular on GitHub, despite only being about a month old. While not claiming to be a political movement, it outlines some background on the origins of “996” and provides legal resources for workers who might be seeking respite from the 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week schedule that has been making headlines recently. GitHub, which is owned by Microsoft, is not blocked in China and is a major platform used by developers to collaborate on projects, so a total shutdown of its services in the country could be damaging to many companies’ daily operations.