[Sponsored Article] Face masks have become a necessity since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While they are proven to be an effective means to limit the spread of the virus, the question of whether to mask or not to mask had been, and perhaps still is, interpreted by some individuals as evidence of “cultural” differences, or taken as an opportunity to position oneself, or certain cultures, as more “prepared” than others. The study of face masks has mostly focused on science: their effectiveness in stopping the spread of the virus and how they protect the wearer from being infected. Moreover, there have also been studies on face mask wearing from a social semiotics perspective, which investigates the kinds of meanings and values people ascribe to face masks, as well as the wearer of face masks. From this perspective, face masks are more than objects which enable the formation of a physical barrier between the wearer and the virus – they are also objects to index one’s positioning, allowing one to show alignment with, or distance from a particular position, ideology or belief. One place where the expression of such acts of positioning by individuals can be found is in YouTube videos. Dr Jenifer HO from CityU’s Department of English carried out an online observation of the YouTube videos posted between March and April 2020 and focused her analysis on one video which made (cultural) positioning of face masks visible by conducting a multimodal analysis of selected scenes of the video. The study found that not only is (cultural) positioning conveyed by language but it is also performed multimodally (using a combination of writing, images, sound and many other semiotic resources that people use to make meaning). For instance, in the video under analysis, the position of alignment with face mask wearing practice is shown linguistically and semiotically by means of an orchestration of spoken language, on-screen writing and sound effects. The study has implications regarding how knowledge is constructed and disseminated with the help of digital media. The affordances and the global reach of digital media enable new ways in which healthy communication can be conducted by leveraging this kind of creative and vernacular digital literacy practices. Publication and achievements Ho, W. Y. J. (2021). Face masks and cultural identity on YouTube. In R.H. Jones (Ed.), Viral Discourse . Cambridge University Press (Cambridge Elements in Applied Linguistics series).