The Ethics of Using GraphQL

Carolyn Stransky

Last given at GraphQL Day Bodensee on September 6, 2019.


📃 Three General Theories of Ethics and the Integrative Role of Integrity Theory by Muel Kaptein and Johan F. Wempe
An academic paper that explains the differences between virtue ethics, duty-based ethics, and consequential ethics.

📖 Using GraphQL? Why Facebook Used to Own You by Dennis Walsh
Patent and IP attorney/software developer Dennis Walsh describes how, back in the early days of GraphQL, most users were infringing on Facebook's patent.

📚 Learning GraphQL by Eve Porcello and Alex Banks
A book aimed at GraphQL newbies about declarative data fetching for modern web apps.

📖 GraphQL is the King. Long Live the King! (R.I.P. REST) by S.C. Barrus
The article where S.C. Barrus refers to GraphQL as "another in a line of technologies that were emerging from the hipster catacombs at Facebook."

📖 GraphQL: A data query language by Lee Byron
A post on Facebook Engineering's blog that introduces and explains GraphQL and why Facebook started developing it in 2012.

📖 Introducing the GraphQL Foundation by Lee Byron
A post on Lee Byron's personal Medium page that announced the intent to form the GraphQL Foundation in 2018.


🎤 Data fetching for React applications at Facebook by Dan Schafer and Jing Chen
Given at React.js Conf 2015, this talk was the first time the GraphQL concept was introduced publicly.

🎤 Exploring GraphQL by Lee Byron
Given at react-europe 2015 and announced the release of the GraphQL RFC Specification Working Draft.


📋 2018 StackOverflow Survey
Referenced the ethics section, which unfortunately wasn't part of the 2019 survey.

Responses referenced:
🤔 Do developers have an obligation to consider ethical implications of their code?

📋 Monica Lent on Twitter
Have you ever decided NOT to use an open-source package for a library/framework/tool, etc. because you did not agree ethically with the practices of the parent company developing it?

Responses referenced:
🐦 @freiksenet
🐦 @chekofif
🐦 @iamsapegin
🐦 @sophiebits
🐦 @cwardphotos
🐦 @Kosai106
🐦 @tomis80

📋 My own Twitter survey
Do you still consider GraphQL to be a Facebook technology, despite the fact that it's now officially under the Linux Foundation?

Responses referenced:
🐦 @endocrimes
🐦 @bitandbang
🐦 @autiomaa
🐦 @ramsay
🐦 @ralex1993
🐦 @the_fricky
🐦 @joshin_my_tots

Tools, Companies, and Organizations Mentioned

⚙️ graphql-js
⚙️ Gatsby
⚙️ GraphCMS
⚙️ Prisma
⚙️ graphql-spec
⚙️ GraphQL Foundation
⚙️ Facebook Open Source

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